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Allens joins innovative sustainability program, becomes carbon neutral

23 February 2015

Allens has signed on as a major corporate partner of the Qantas Future Planet Partnership, a carbon offset program supporting innovative projects that reduce emissions, protect wildlife and aid local communities.

Allens has also become the first Australian law firm to be certified as carbon neutral under the Federal Government's National Carbon Offset Standard.

The Qantas Future Planet Partnership will see Allens join other leading Australian organisations as partners in the program, which provides access to carbon offset projects – across Australia, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Peru and other parts of the world – that have been verified to the highest international standards for emissions reductions, environmental outcomes and community benefits.

As part of the program, Allens will support the North Kimberley Traditional Owners, who have established a Savannah Burning Project. The project sees Aboriginal land owner groups in the North Kimberley reduce carbon emissions through traditional fire management techniques.

Allens Partner and Chair of the firm's national Footprint Committee Phillip Cornwell said the firm was proud to be a partner in this innovative project.

The sale of the carbon offsets generated by the project will provide communities in the North Kimberley with work and a source of revenue while protecting the region's biodiversity and sustaining cultural traditions and connections with the land,' Mr Cornwell said.

'We continually look for innovative ways to become a more sustainable firm and this venture with Qantas certainly fits that bill.

'This partnership is fantastic because it aligns with a number of our community programs and objectives. Allens has been supporting indigenous projects for many years through our pro bono work and, since 2009, under our Reconciliation Action Plan. Purchasing carbon offsets in partnership with Qantas will provide us with another avenue to support the first peoples of Australia.'

Mr Cornwell said he was also proud of the firm's achievement of being certified as carbon neutral this financial year. 'The firm continually looks for ways to reduce energy use, paper consumption, travel and waste, with the initiatives being driven by Allens partners, lawyers and corporate services staff on the firm's Footprint Committees.' Emissions reduction initiatives include a major upgrade to our video conferencing facilities and switching to more energy efficient printers and computers.

'Our efforts saw greenhouse gas emissions referable to our Australian offices fall 12.8 per cent last financial year.'

The firm also conducted more than 1600 hours of pro bono work for environmental organisations in 2014.

Mr Cornwell said that Allens will continue its focus on emissions reduction initiatives and will only purchase carbon offsets that meet the high standards of the National Carbon Offset Standard and align with Allens' community objectives.

The carbon neutral certification relates to the firm's Australian offices; however, the firm also offsets emissions for its Asian offices.

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Notes for editors.

Allens is a commercial law firm working throughout Australia and Asia. Through its integrated alliance with Linklaters it provides clients access to 40 offices in 28 countries around the world.